Humans Behaving Blog

The Eberhart Psychology Building’s Twin

Posted on December 19, 2016 by Paul Silvia

Professors can be an itinerant bunch. We’re commonly asked to give lectures at other universities as part of the long-standing scholarly traditions of (1) spreading knowledge far and wide, and (2) conducting empirical research on what another city’s Indian restaurants are like.

Your humble blogger recently visited the University of Toronto, a wonderful university with an excellent Psychology Department, to talk about academic writing and publishing, a topic I’ve been known to engage in exegetical extemporizations about.

As our students would expect, when professors from different universities get together, the conversation is deep. We invariably turn to intellectually ennobling topics, such as “Whoa! Nice cinder block racing stripes!”

All psychology buildings everywhere are alike, but UNCG’s Eberhart Building and Toronto’s Psychology Building could have been switched at birth. They’re eerie architectural dopplegangers.

Such bold claims require empirical evidence, of course. Note, as Exhibit A, the cinder block walls.

Here’s the Eberhart Building:

And here’s Toronto:

The orange racing stripe is great. It symbolizes the fact the science moves faster in Canada, I suspect.

And advanced scholars in psychology will of course have recognized that the Eberhart cinder blocks are offset 50% from row to row, whereas the Toronto blocks are in parallel columnar alignment. (Oh, the things you learn in grad school…)

And Exhibit B: cool-looking retro water fountains.

Here’s Eberhart. That avocado green water fountain is a revelation. We keep it real here in Eberhart.

I’m reluctant to show this corrupted one. In a failure of both taste and historical memory, someone painted over the avocado green with what appears to be teal (hex code #008080, if that’s more your style). Granted, teal and fucsia were a thing back in 1991, but sometimes what is done can’t be undone.

And here’s Toronto, which has an old-school charm of its own:

And, finally, Exhibit C. For unknown reasons, psychology buildings usually have a random, arbitrary brick interior wall.

Here’s Toronto:

And here’s Eberhart. Why this small strip of wall is made of brick I will never understand.

Clearly, these buildings are twins.

But as any fan of telenovelas knows, you can’t merely have “twins” that are similar, get along, and share recipes. One must be an evil twin. So this raises the question: which psychology building is the nefarious one that twirls its moustache while tying a pile of old questionnaires to the railroad tracks? Just something to keep your mind occupied until Spring 2017.


“Humans Behaving” is an informal blog run by the UNCG Department of Psychology devoted to matters large and small, from humble happenings to departmental history to our students’ many stories and successes. Have an idea for a story? Are you one of our graduates with a story to tell? Contact Paul Silvia at p_silvia@uncg.edu.


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